Monday, December 29, 2008

Ruby's Slippers

My rheumatoid arthritis has been acting up for the last few days. Saturday and Sunday it was hard to even make it out of bed. I'm doing better today, but my hips are killing me. While the pain gets me down, it's the mental part that makes it hard for me to be up physically or emotionally. I had so many plans for this weekend and today. I wanted to get the girls' room clean, clean up the living room from the remnants of Christmas morning, do the laundry, etc. And I can't do any of it. I hate days like this. I've been doing well the last couple of months. I've been keeping up on laundry and housework, and I feel so good doing it. I love being able to serve my family, and by doing those things, I feel like I'm really taking care of everyone. And when the house is clean, everyone else is in a better mood. There is more time to do other things like bake or play games. I don't like asking the older two kids to do the work, because I get so much attitude, it's easier to do it myself or let it go completely undone. So on days like today, I want I want to snuggle deep into the blankets, put a heating pad on the worst spots, and not talk to or see anyone until I feel better.

Hopefully as the weather warms up the pain will lessen. It's not too cold out today, but it's extremely windy. I went to the grocery store this afternoon, and as I was walking back to the car, a big gust swept up. You know how when you take a small baby outside and they make a small squeaky gasp when they feel the wind? That's how I felt in the wind. It was so strong that I could exhale, but I couldn't inhale until I got into my van. Our road is almost completely drifted shut in spots from the wind. Is it too early to be looking forward to spring?
Ruby's Slippers by Leanna Ellis is a haunting story of a woman's quest to know her earthly father and in doing so discovers her Heavenly Father. Dottie Meyers has lived her entire life on the same small Kansas farm where her mother and grandmother were born. Her sister Abigail fled their small town for the bright lights of Hollywood and only returns to the farm when she wants something. So Dottie isn't completely surprised to find Abby searching through their mother's things during one of her visits and then leave without a word the following morning. She doesn't have time to consider the mystery, because a tornado whips through the farm destroying everything and leaving Dottie in a three month long coma. When she wakes up, she sees things in surprisingly bright colors, starts humming songs she can't remember the names to, and finds a pair of ruby slippers by her bed that were left by her long-lost father. Dottie takes the slippers and goes on a quest to find him and to discover why he abandoned their family over thirty years ago. On the way, she picks up three friends with journeys of their own. Ellis very cleverly plays on the conceit of the title. The slippers are supposedly from The Wizard of Oz, and several themes from the movie are used throughout the book, including Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. I found myself looking for specific plot elements from the movie and was completely delighted with how Ellis used some of them and twisted others making them all her own. The book never becomes a parody or silly; Ellis handles the similarities carefully to please fans of the movie without annoying anyone who isn't. While Dottie doesn't exactly discover there's no place like home, she learns what the word really means. I loved how Ellis writing reflects whatever Dottie is going through, from the no-nonsense style in Kansas to almost dreamlike when she first wakes up to clarity as Dottie makes personal discoveries. This powerful novel brought a smile to my face.

I'm starting a new book contest today. I'm giving away two copies of Karen Linamen's Only Nuns Change Habits Overnight. It's a funny and smart look at how to make real changes in your life that you can stick with. To enter, drop me an email before 10 pm on Thursday, Jan. 1st. I announce the winners here and post my review on Friday. Good luck!


robin_titan said...

hehe that is such a cute picture!

Cathy said...

Hi. I hope you feel better. The weather in here in Chicago has been warm, cold, rain, snow and just beautiful weather. Unfortunately our bodies cannot handle this change. My body is protesting too and I have to agree, it is the mental frustrations that come with RA that make it the most difficult. Anyhow, wishing you a speedy recovery and more good days than bad. Cathy

Anonymous said...

Take care of yourself...curl up and keep warm!